Venkatapathy Raju was chosen in the Indian cricket team to succeed Maninder Singh. He was a finger spinner in the classical mould. In 1990-91 while playing against Sri Lanka, he bowled India to victory in the one off Test match.
In the early 90s, he formed a spin trio with Anil Kumble and Rajesh Chauhan. During the latter part of the 90s, his career witnesses a lot of downs. However, he performed excellently in the domestic circuit and hence was always in contention. His bowling style was suitable for Indian pitches. In the 15 Tests he played at home, he picked up 70 wickets while in the 12 Tests he played abroad, he claimed 22 wickets.
Raju’s best performance was possibly in 1994-95 while playing against the West Indies. He made 20 dismissals in the 3 Test matches that he played. After the conclusion of the 1997-98 series against Australia, he was a forgotten man.
Venkatapathy Raju has participated in 53 ODIs and in these has made 63 dismissals in the 2770 deliveries bowled by him while conceding 2014 runs. His bowling average was 31.96, economy rate was 4.36 and bowling strike rate was 43.9. He got the chance to bat in 16 innings in which he scored 32 runs at a batting strike rate of 47.76.